Bob Dylan had it right, “The times; they are a-changin’.” But, especially when it comes to Casino Changes and Evolution in the New Normal, Darren Withers, from Casino Journal, made me wonder what the future holds for the “New Normal” casino. He wrote the article in May 2020, “when businesses [were] closed and casinos [went] dark to protect the communities and employees that make them possible.”
A Digital Response – Casino Changes and Evolution in the New Normal
“Players in many markets are typically older, retired, and less reliant on working income than most of us, so there is a good chance they are as concerned about getting their latest casino offers as they are about getting more hand sanitizer and toilet paper.” (Darren Withers)
Darren believes a digital marketing strategy is needed. For years now, casinos have experimented with digital answers for usual experiences needing human contact. The evolution of casino kiosks is interesting. The kiosks to produce a new player’s card is a great innovation. It keeps people from lining up at the cashier or rewards club for just that reason.
“For this reason, it behooves gaming operators to have a digital marketing strategy that keeps all customers engaged and drives potential revenue no matter what the circumstances.” (Darren Withers)
Touchless Is the Way to Go
“Moving to a COVID-preventing touchless experience could be the difference between success and failure in the months to come.” According to Darren Withers, casino management must consider everything a touchless possibility because it :
- reduces lines at the players club
- decreases trips to the kiosk to participate in a drawing
- avoids waiting lines for hotel room check-in
- can calling a car to the valet
- will replace using cash at a slot machine
- help ordering a drink service and more
Touchless gifting will be the desired way of getting gifts and rewards to players. Why do casino operators still risk players coming to the property and standing in line for that gift? Digital gifting will help that meaningless congestion. Smaller casinos in New England have enough trouble with social distancing and space. Oxford Casino, Plainridge Park, and MGM Springfield top the list in giveaways in small areas. Besides, how many locals get their gifts and gamble?
The Touchable is Also Changing in the New Normal
Self-cleaning is now in the casino management’s headlights. For example, at Resorts in Atlantic City, the hotel elevators are equipped with nanoSeptic, self-cleaning buttons. After you push the elevator button, the button automatically cleans itself!
The Unseen Casino Changes – Cleaner Air
At Mohegan Sun, in Connecticut, air now circulates through purifying ultraviolet light so that COVID-19 particles are not recycled through the air. The big guys in the industry can afford to install systems that bring in 100 percent outside air to lessen tobacco smoke, odor problems, and especially unhealthy agents in the air. But because of the astronomical energy cost, it’s not an option for smaller properties and companies.
Casino Changes and Evolution in the New Normal – More Non-Smoking Casinos
Smoking and non-smoking in casinos is a polarizing topic among gamblers. But, according to Mark Gruetze, CDC Gaming Reports, ” ……this is the perfect time for casinos to add one more element to protect against another significant threat to public health. They should reopen totally smoke-free.”
Over 100 casinos throughout the country have changed to 100% non-smoking indoor casinos. Whether casino changes like this in high competition areas will change back is yet to be seen. Here in New England, all nine casinos are still non-smoking. Mohegan Sun, Foxwoods, Twin River, and Tiverton have all become 100% non-smoking. Massachusetts and Maine’s casinos are already non-smoking by law.
However, as of June 2021, Atlantic City is allowing smoking in casinos much like it was before the pandemic.
Related Post – Reopening Smokefree: The New Normal (Updated 7/23/2020)
Related Post – Are Smoke-Free Casinos Here To Stay
Casino changes and evolution mean changes in casino floor footprint. Casino staff will convert casino staff Unused space on the casino floor. This will ensure that the maximum number of slot machines are available while allowing social distancing.
Face Masks, Spacing, and Plexiglass, Oh My!
While some guests will still use face masks, casinos have loosened spacing requirements and removed plexiglass from table games. The casino floor could be looking very different than it was in 2019.